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Wisconsin Sexual Harassment Attorneys

What is Sexual Harassment?

Unwelcome, uninvited, undesirable, or offensive conduct can be sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct including:

  • Sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Verbal or physical conduct or contact of a sexual nature
  • Deliberate, repeated, and unsolicited gestures or comments of a sexual nature
  • Deliberate and repeated display of offensive, sexually-graphic material not necessary for work purposes

What is unwelcome conduct?

Conduct is unwelcome when you do not solicit or invite it and it is viewed as undesirable or offensive. What might be acceptable behavior to one person, could very well be uninvited and offensive to another. Unwelcome conduct in the workplace may be unlawful sexual harassment.

Who Can Be the Harasser?

Everyone in the workplace. An employee can be sexually harassed by a boss or supervisor, a boss or supervisor in another department, a co-worker, or someone who is not even an employee, such as a supplier, client, or customer. A harasser can be a woman or a man. It is illegal workplace sexual harassment if a harasser is the same gender or opposite gender.

A single instance of contact, grabbing, or touching constitutes sexual harassment. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, though.

3 Types of Sexual Harassment in Wisconsin

1. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment (this, for that) :

It is quid pro quo sexual harassment when employment decisions or expectations (e.g. if you are hired, terminated, promoted, demoted, which shift or tasks you’re assigned) are based on whether an employee grants or denies sexual favors or romantic relationships.

Examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment include:

  • Demanding an employee perform sexual favors in order to receive a promotion or raise
  • Disciplining, demoting, or firing an employee after ending a romantic or sexual relationship
  • Changing work standards, shift assignments, or job duties after an employee repeatedly refuses to go on a date

2. Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment:

It is hostile work environment sexual harassment when unwelcome verbal or physical sexual conduct is severe enough to interfere with an employee’s work performance or is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to a reasonable person.

3. Sexual Harassment Based on the Definition

It is sexual harassment if conduct falls into any 1 of the 5 categories outlined in the definition of sexual harassment, including:

  • Sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Verbal or physical conduct or contact of a sexual nature
  • Deliberate, repeated, and unsolicited gestures or comments of a sexual nature
  • Deliberate and repeated display of offensive, sexually-graphic material not necessary for business purposes

Examples of a Hostile Work Environment: Verbal, Non-Verbal, & Physical

Verbal:

  • Making comments about someone’s body or sex life
  • Telling sexual jokes
  • Making sexually insulting, demeaning comments

Non-Verbal:

  • Giving sexually suggestive “gifts”
  • Making sexual or lewd gestures, or staring
  • Displaying or showing sexually suggestive or degrading materials

Physical:

  • Blocking someone’s movement or intended path
  • Touching, hugging, kissing or patting anywhere on the body
  • Brushing against someone’s body

Retaliation for Reporting or Complaining About Sexual Harassment

Employees are also protected under the law from retaliation for reporting or complaining about sexual harassment. This can include a response of termination, demotion, discipline, transfer, reassignment, or other changes to the terms and conditions of employment following an employee’s report or complaint.

The Walcheske & Luzi Difference

At Walcheske & Luzi, LLC  it is our pledge to provide open and honest advice, taking the time to listen, counsel, and advise. We have been characterized by many as a different kind of law firm, providing a certain type of personalized service, attention to detail, and honesty to its clients that other firms either can’t, don’t, or won’t provide.

The materials appearing in this website and on our blog are for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship and may not always reflect the most current legal developments. For additional information about our firm, please contact us at 1-262-780-1953 or contact@walcheskeluzi.com